Reducing Book Piracy: The Role of the Higher Education Sector

Evelyn Chiyevo GARWE

Abstract


The objective of this paper was to address the rampant infringement of intellectual property rights in Zimbabwe, with respect to the literary industry. The paper identifies the various forms of book piracy in Zimbabwe, their causes and effects and strategies to deal with the scourge with specific emphasis on the contribution of the higher and tertiary sector. The methodology included observation, analysis of documentary evidence, and in-depth interviews with key informants inclusive of government officials, higher and tertiary education officials, Zimbabwe International Book Fair leadership, publishers, authors, parents, students and book vendors. The findings revealed that unlawful reprography and abuse of publication rights are the main forms of book piracy in Zimbabwe. The causes of book piracy were identified as book scarcity, poverty and ignorance of the copyright laws. The impact of book piracy was positive as far as the beneficiaries were concerned but had debilitating effects to the copyright owners. The paper suggests ways in which the higher education sector could contribute to the reduction of book piracy initially by their academic staff and students and ultimately by the whole nation through ripple effects. These ways include awareness, advocacy and enforcement of copyright laws; revitalization of libraries as well as encouraging curriculum inclusiveness. The paper contributes to the on-going anti-book piracy debate and provides useful information to Librarians, higher education institutions as well as policy makers.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ire.v2i2.5649

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